It's been a rough week for co-op
You've just picked up a game to play with your mates, and you're appropriately excited. Maybe it's Dead Island: Riptide, and you're preparing to slaughter a million zombies all in the name of good fun, or perhaps you're getting ready to fight the Gorn menace with Spock and Kirk in Star Trek. Everything is ready, and you're just about to jump into your first co-op game, but fate has conspired against you, and nothing you do allows you to play with your --now bored -- chums.
This is a problem that's plagued a lot of people attempting to get some multiplayer action in Riptide and Star Trek on PC, and those suffering from a lack of co-op are not best pleased. When games with a strong focus on cooperative play fail to allow consumers to dabble in that aspect, it's a pretty serious issue.
The normal result is people railing against the developers and publishers, holding them responsible for the broken game. But in this instance, it might not be quite as simple as that. In fact, the fault may actually lie with Valve and Steam.
On Tuesday, Digital Extremes, who developed Star Trek, sent out an email to customers regarding the co-op issues with that title:
We are aware of the problem and have been working with Steam to determine the cause. They have admitted that it's a problem on their end that they didn't anticipate with the staggered release schedule of the PC game in different territories. It seems because the European version has not shipped yet, it has caused a bug in the North American version that doesn't allow co-op to work yet. They have since told us that this problem will resolve itself as soon as the European servers go live which is tomorrow. We apologize for the turmoil this has caused.
A Valve employee going by Blue on the Steam forums stated, on Thursday, that Valve had identified a bug with Dead Island: Riptide that was stopping players from being able to access to co-op features, and that they would release a fix later that day.
So, within 24 hours of the Star Trek fix being implemented, Dead Island: Riptide's co-op also started working again, hinting that the same issue was affecting that game along with Star Trek. Players also started to report that they were finally able to play.
Monaco: What's Yours is Mine has also been suffering from connectivity problems, which did initially seem like it might be related to whatever is going on with Steam. We reached out to Andy Schatz, and he explained that the issues could be due to several possible reasons, from user error, to problems with Steamworks that weren't present during the beta. He didn't want to speculate -- and admitted that he didn't know anything about the co-op problems on Steam -- but didn't rule out the possibility that Monaco could be another victim along with Star Trek and Riptide.
Earlier today, I asked Valve's Doug Lombardi if he could clarify the situation, but I'm still waiting to hear back from him. I'll be updating this post the moment more information appears.
For those of you previously experiencing problems with these titles, have you had any luck today? Let us know in the comments.